Chris Larsen, the cofounder, executive chairman, and former CEO of the cryptocurrency company Ripple, became the world’s fifth wealthiest person as the price of Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency soared past the $3 mark this week.
The recent price surge catapulted Larsen ahead of Google (goog) cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (nos. 8 and 10 respectively, excluding Larsen) in terms of personal net worth, according to data from Forbes’ billionaires list. The lift also gave him an edge over Oracle (orcl) cofounder Larry Ellison (formerly no. 5).
Larsen personally holds 5.19 billion XRP crypto coins as well as a 17% stake in the company he cofounded, Forbes reported Tuesday, citing sources close to Ripple. Fortunehas since confirmed the figures with people close to Ripple.
Larsen’s wealth swelled to extravagant proportions when the price of Ripple’s XRP token hit an unprecedented high of $3.84 per coin Thursday, per data from the industry tracker CoinMarketCap. Since Ripple controls 61% of the world’s supply of XRP coins — 61 billion out of 100 billion in total — the gains placed Larsen’s personal position in the cryptocurrency as well as his share of the XRP owned by his company at a dizzying total of $59.8 billion.
XRP’s price has rocketed more than 1,400% since early December. On Thursday, the sum of Larsen’s newfound fortune technically exceeded the fortunes of Ellison ($58.9 billion), the oil tycoon Koch brothers’ ($51 billion apiece), Page ($50.8 billion), media impresario Michael Bloomberg ($49.7 billion), and Brin ($49.3 billion), in the estimation of Forbes’billionaires list…